Solar Water Pumping – What You Need to Know

December 16, 2016


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In many villages and small towns around the world, water pumping systems are used for water supply and irrigation. In most cases, these utilize unsustainable energy sources such as fossil fuels.

After years of research and technological advances, photovoltaic water pumping (PVP) has proven to be operationally, financially, and environmentally sustainable. Even though PVP is ready for mainstreaming, its benefits remain largely unknown to communities, governments, and development institutions. 

To address this gap, the World Bank has developed an accessible and interactive knowledge base on PVP. This online repository aims to raise awareness about the technology and provide resources that help incorporate PVP into operations. Currently, the repository contains more than 260 resources from all regions where the World Bank works, and covers a broad range of issues.

Knowledge Highlights 

A concise presentation from two World Bank Water and Energy specialists that gives an overview of PVP technology and discusses its potential for mainstreaming, in terms of possible financing models and the challenges faced.

This is the place to start when searching for academic literature on PVP. It covers a broad range of PVP-related issues, namely the current state of the technology, types of motors and pumps, technical performance, economic and environmental benefits, and initiatives in developing countries with a focus on India.

A widely known report and one of the most cited PVP feasibility studies. It makes a thorough life-cycle cost analysis of PVP and diesel pumps in the context of Namibia, with the conclusion that PVP is less costly for any hydraulic volumes up to 3,000 m4/day. Payback periods are presented for different operating requirements. The study also found that there is high market potential for PVP.

Developed by the World Bank, this is the most comprehensive toolkit about the implementation of PV projects for communities in developing countries, including (but not restricted to) PVP. It lays out an approach to project implementation and management, from initial assessment to project preparation, procurement and contract management, and long-term operation and maintenance.

Go to the Knowledge Base Now: